Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir - 1st ever performance tomorrow!

Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir - 1st ever performance tomorrow!
Type of post: Orchestra news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Suzi Mackenzie
Status: Current
Date Posted: Fri, 21 Oct 2022

Bristol Reggae Orchestra are delighted that the sold out first public performance of the Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir takes place this week at Bristol Beacon on Saturday 22 October 2022 at 7pm.  

The Black History Month gala performance marks the culmination of a 6-month project funded by the Windrush Day Grant Fund with the aim of learning from, enjoying and amplifying the voices of the Windrush generation and their descendants. The Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir has the legendary Orgena (Gena) Rose as its leader.

The gala also marks the world-premiere of two new pieces of music Home composed by talented local musicians Tomasz Kazmierski (keyboard player in the Orchestra) and Magda Hrynaszkiewicz and Windrush Child by Gena Rose, the Choir Director.

“I am thrilled with setting John Agard's powerful poem, Windrush Child to music. I really wanted to honour an existing work and this one speaks to the circumstances of Windrush in a powerful way. It tells the story of the Windrush journey from a unique point of view and pays tribute to  the generations that experienced it. Setting it to music is a perfect way to celebrate their legacy.” Orgena Rose, Choir Director

In the words of the singers in the choir:

“To have 40+ people from all walks of life at our first rehearsal was just a joy, music is a great way to educate and bring people together. The gala performance promises to be spectacular and we hope just the start of the journey for the choir!” Rebecca Scott, Singer and Bristol Reggae Orchestra Leader 

“Wow, what an honour to be part of this historic Windrush Choir project. It is a wonderful opportunity to recognise all those affectionately now known as the Windrush generation. My parents were part of the Windrush generation and so it has increased historical value and legacy for me personally. Reggae music allows a celebration which is soulfully inspiring and fitting for the celebration of Windrush, to sing the tunes and lyrics from Bob Marley carries deep meaning. So… is it love that I’m feeling…. well yes of course it is!” Carole Johnson, Singer and Vice Chair St Pauls Carnival CIC, Former Lord Mayor Bristol City Council and councillor for Ashley Ward

“I am so excited that St Agnes Church is involved in this wonderful project and to see the building full of people from the community singing and laughing together! St Agnes is very much at the heart of St Paul's and as such has always held a special place in the community for the Bristol Windrush generation and their descendants. It is my privilege to be part of this as we celebrate together their important contribution to our community and the cultural landscape of Bristol.”  Rev Melanie Otto, Singer and Priest in Charge of St Agnes and St Annes.

“Singing in the choir is like a therapy. It makes me feel happy and meet more vocalists. Even if you can’t sing, when you’re in a choir you can find your own space there. And I love reggae so much!” Barrington Chambers, Singer and Bristol Reggae Orchestra Vice-Chair

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